Sex selective abortion is a growing problem around the world.
Last February, 2020, MP Cathay Wagantall, introduced a Private Member’s Bill, C-233, the Sex Selective Abortion Act, in the House of Commons. If passed, the bill would amend the Criminal Code to prohibit medical practitioners from performing sex selective abortions.
According to Wagantall, “In a country which seeks to foster equality between men and women, the practice of using abortion for sex-selection needs to be prohibited by law. Sex selective abortion is antithetical to our commitment to equality and needs to be prohibited as an unacceptable practice.”
And Canadians agree. According to the polls, 84% of Canadians believe it should be illegal to have an abortion based on sex and 52% of Canadians would be more likely to vote for a party that opposed sex selective abortions.
It’s ironic that while equality between the sexes is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there is no law against the discriminatory practise of sex selection.
While we often assume sex selective abortion is only an issue in other countries, it is a problem in Canada too. But even if it wasn’t, Canada has a moral duty as one of the world’s most influential free societies to lead the way in protecting girls (and boys) from all forms of sex discrimination, even if Canada never sees “gendercide” on the scale of practices overseas.
Further, the Canadian federal government subsidizes abortions overseas, having committed to increase funding to $700 million a year by 2023. According to the World Health Organization, United Nations Women, and United Nations Children’s Fund, sex selective abortion is a growing problem, with well over 140 million girls statistically missing, simply because they are girls. Canadian taxpayers’ money is contributing to this internationally recognized crisis. For a government that prides itself on feminist leadership, this is glaring contradiction.
But the impacts of this crisis don’t end in the womb. Sex selective abortion has led to ratio disparities between men and women leading to increased violence against women and increased sex trafficking of women in countries where there are significantly more men than women. If the government wants to end violence against women, it starts in the womb.
On February 9, 2021, Petition e-3161 was started and calls on the House of Commons to enact legislation that would prohibit sex selective abortion in Canada. This issue goes beyond partisan politics and women’s reproductive rights. This is about ending the life of a baby, simply because she is a girl.
Please sign the petition so a strong message can be sent to the House of Commons that sex selective abortion has no place in Canada.